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Actors Guild of Parkersburg ready to show ‘Sense and Sensibility’

From left, Jane Mancini, Charles Roberts, Becca Medendorp and Lynn Somerville appear in the first act of “Sense and Sensibility.” The show based on Jane Austen’s classic novel, produced by the Actors Guild of Parkersburg, opens 8 p.m. Friday at the theater at West Virginia University at Parkersburg. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

PARKERSBURG — The Actors Guild of Parkersburg’s production of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” will open 8 p.m. Friday at the theater at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

The venue change is due to the renovation of the Guild Playhouse in Parkersburg.

The play also will be presented 8 p.m. Saturday, March 6, 7, 13 and 14 and 2:30 p.m. March 8 at the college.

“We have been welcomed by the WVU-P staff and have enjoyed our rehearsal experience in the space,” said director Greg Merritt. “There are some differences between the rehearsal and performance space at the Actors Guild versus the college, and some challenges have been faced with this production experience. But every challenge has been met with hard work from the cast and crew,” Merritt said.

“There is a sense of joy with this production and we hope that joy can be carried through to future collaborative experiences between the Actors Guild and WVU-P,” he said.

From left, Becca Buck and Tim Tuten in a scene from “Sense and Sensibility,” the Actors Guild of Parkersburg production that opens at 8 p.m. Friday in the theater at West Virginia University at Parkersburg. The Guild Playhouse is undergoing renovations. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

As part of the Guild’s ongoing commitment to Mid-Ohio Valley residents, everyone attending is invited to participate in “Socks and Sensibility” by bringing a donation of new socks to any of the performances.

Tickets are available at www.actors-guild.com/buy-tickets.html, with adult tickets at $18 and senior/student tickets at $16.

The story of “Sense and Sensibility” follows the fortunes and misfortunes of the Dashwood sisters — sensible Elinor and hypersensitive Marianne — after their father’s sudden death leaves them financially destitute and socially vulnerable.

While the story is set in late 18th century England, Merritt said the themes hold interest for today’s audience.

“These themes — including women’s empowerment, gossip, and young love — are explored,” he said. “The gentle humor that Jane Austen brings to her writing is evident in the play, and there is so much more as audience members will be treated to broad, slapstick comedy and tender, dramatic moments.”

The Actors Guild of Parkersburg production of “Sense and Sensibility” will open 8 p.m. Friday in the theater at West Virginia University at Parkersburg. From left are Abby Farnsworth, Lynn Somerville, Becca Medendorp and Naomi Potts. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

In addition to veteran performers and crew members, the production also includes several first-time volunteers. Merritt praised the entire group who has worked on the production.

The cast includes:

* Elinor Dashwood — Becca Medendorp

* Marianne Dashwood — Abby Farnsworth

* Margaret Dashwood — Naomi Potts

Veronica Fields and Missy Arnold show the other side of polite English society in a scene in “Sense and Sensibility.” (Photo by Jess Mancini)

* Mrs. Dashwood — Lynn Somerville

* John Dashwood — Tim Tuten

* Edward Ferrars — Josh Pelikan

* Fanny Ferrars Dashwood — Becca Buck

* Colonel Brandon — Tom Lodato

* John Willoughby — Ike Eastwood

* Sir John Middleton — Charles Roberts

* Mrs. Jennings — Jane Mancini

* Lucy Steele — Veronica Fields

* Anne Steele — Missy Arnold

* Gossips — Zack Graham, Willow Peyton, Braden Medendorp, Chloe Arnold, Susan Courtney

* Miss Grey — Emma Kitchen

Danny Bayer is the assistant director, Zach Offenberger is the stage manager, Pam Piggott is the costumer and Barbara Full is an adviser.

Contact Wayne Towner at wtowner@newsandsentinel.com

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